How to Ship Cupcakes

If you have someone special in your life who lives far away, I know just what you should send them for Valentine’s Day: a cupcake! I’ve always wanted to mail my cupcakes but I wasn’t sure how to. It’s hard enough just to transport them across town without smashing the frosting. Instead, I always sent cookies, which are so simple to send to anyone. But this time, I really wanted to mail something a little more special out and I suddenly remembered seeing cupcakes in jars somewhere and *BAM* the idea hit me. Why didn’t I think of this before?!

You can actually bake cake directly in a glass jar, but I baked my cupcakes in a regular pan then sliced them in half and layered them in jars with frosting. I think it looks prettier this way, plus who can argue with getting a little extra frosting?

In a small 4 ounce jelly jar (see below), you can either use 2 cupcake halves or 1 full cupcake with just regular frosting on top. In a taller 8 ounce jar (see above), you can use 3 cupcake halves layered with frosting to fill it up. I’m sending a couple of each to one family; large for the adults, small for the kids.

See how easy it is:

1. Bake a cupcake and slice it in half. Place 1 half at the bottom of the jar.

2. Pipe some frosting on top.

3. Add cupcake half.

4. Pipe more frosting on top. (With a taller jar, you would repeat steps 3 & 4 one more time.) Add twine and tie disposable spoon to jar (I used some cute mini spoons from Sucre Shop).

Voilà! You get a generous portion of cupcake and frosting that looks beautiful. I love using the small ice cream spoons from Sucre Shop, because they come in tons of colors and designs, are the perfect size, and are lightweight and disposable.

To ship the cupcakes, I topped the jars with lids, wrapped each one in bubble wrap and carefully packed them into a box with some festive tissue paper.

Are you baking anything special for Valentine’s Day this year?

39 Comments on How to Ship Cupcakes

  1. Betty
    February 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm (9 years ago)

    Did they get there without being turned upside-down and having the icing stick to the lid? I’m very interested because I know i would love to send cupcakes to my family without the decoration getting smooshed.


    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      February 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm (9 years ago)

      Betty, if you’re worried about the icing getting stuck to the lid, you could freeze them briefly and then take them out of the freezer right before you ship them. I think they will arrive okay though, because the cupcakes perfectly fit into the jars and I had to actually push them down to make them fit, so I don’t think they will move around much, even if the box is turned upside down.

  2. My Geisha
    February 12, 2013 at 10:18 am (9 years ago)

    Omg this is beautiful and a great idea to send baked goods to college kids. My niece is going to love receiving this. I cant wait to make them i only wish i had this post a few days ago could make a great long distance v- day gift.

    • LaShone
      October 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm (5 years ago)

      I love the idea. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Zaynub
    March 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm (9 years ago)

    This is a great idea! I have always wanted to mail cupcakes but I had no idea how. Thanks for sharing! Where do you get the jars?

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      March 6, 2013 at 10:21 pm (9 years ago)

      Zaynub, those are wide mouth mason jars. You can get them through the Amazon link in the last sentence or in a wide variety of grocery, craft, and hardware stores.

  4. Amy
    March 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm (9 years ago)

    This looks so cute!!! Beautiful idea, love love love it!!

  5. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen
    March 27, 2013 at 7:41 am (9 years ago)

    This is such a lovely idea and the cupcakes in a jar look totally gorgeous too!

  6. Lora
    May 11, 2013 at 5:09 am (9 years ago)

    My son is in the Navy and keeps telling me he misses my cakes and frosting. This is perfect for sending special boxes to him. Thank you!

  7. Stephanie
    May 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm (9 years ago)

    The cupcakes/frosting don’t spoil before they reach their destination?

  8. Jill
    May 29, 2013 at 9:54 am (9 years ago)

    Awesome idea! The main thing I’m worried about is the frosting spoiling before reaching its destination (especially since I live in Florida and would be shipping them to Texas and it’s summer heat now…) What kind of a frosting did you use?

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      June 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm (9 years ago)

      Jill, I used a simple buttercream with just butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.

  9. Mrs. King
    July 6, 2013 at 8:24 am (9 years ago)

    You can also use 1 cup of Crisco, 1 bag of powdered sugar, 3 capfuls of vanilla extract, and just enough milk to get the consistency you need (for piping I use roughly 1/4 to 1/2 of cup.) (sweet pet milk would work for this!). Taste wonderful!!! and can sit out. Not sure of the shelf life, never last more than a week in my house. But I’ve been told it will last a month with a lid on it. So it would be perfect for this idea!!!!

  10. Mandy
    July 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm (9 years ago)

    About how much did it cost to ship them?

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      July 22, 2013 at 8:50 pm (9 years ago)

      Mandy, I used a flat rate box so I wouldn’t have to worry about it getting heavy/expensive.

  11. Mandy
    July 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm (9 years ago)

    Thank you so much! This brain dead mama of an 8 month old can’t think anymore! :o)

  12. Alex
    August 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm (9 years ago)

    Would you reccommend canned icing over homemade buttercream? I just want to make sure that the icing will not go bad during the journey.
    Alex recently posted Enter the #IceCreamWeek Giveaway

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      August 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm (9 years ago)

      Alex, butter + powdered sugar should be fine, but if you’re worried store bought could work too.

    • Donna Urmin
      July 12, 2019 at 7:23 pm (3 years ago)

      Butter, powdered sugar & meringue powder. I use Rose or champagne in mine. Tastes great & no milk to spoil!

  13. Jackie Hunter
    October 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm (9 years ago)

    How long will they be ok for in the mail? As far as “expiring”? lol

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      October 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm (9 years ago)

      Jackie, as long as you would normally consider them good (on average, I’d say up to a week), although be cautious in super hot weather.

  14. Alex
    October 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm (9 years ago)

    Thanks Stephanie. I have actually shipped a bunch of cupcakes and used the homemade buttercream. They arrived in good condition. I freeze them overnight and then include a cold pack in the box. USPS 2 day priority shipping gets them there and the reviews have been great. I would reccomend their flat rate shipping because it can be costly to ship the jars due to the extra weight of the glass.

  15. Larincia
    November 19, 2013 at 12:44 am (9 years ago)

    What size pan did you use to make the cupcakes (standard cupcake or a jumbo cupcake pan). Do you know if you could use a meringue buttercream with meringue powder? Just curious?

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      November 19, 2013 at 9:53 am (9 years ago)

      Larincia, I used regular cupcakes. Jumbo would be too big for a Mason jar of this size, although you could use a wider jar. My only concern would be refrigeration – I’m not familiar with frosting using meringue powder and if it would be okay at room temperature.

  16. Megan
    January 19, 2014 at 7:02 am (8 years ago)

    What an awesome idea! I am excited to do this. I am flying home for Valentines Day to see my fiancé, but having these arrive ahead of time would be great!
    Megan recently posted Wedding Stuff

  17. Jane
    May 14, 2016 at 4:55 pm (6 years ago)

    has anyone tried shipping these. Do they still look as cute after the postal service has tossed them around. I want to send some to my grandkids. thanks

  18. Maricela
    August 19, 2016 at 10:09 pm (6 years ago)

    How long can it last in a jar for shipping?


3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on How to Ship Cupcakes

  1. […] her. While cookies are easier to ship, I wanted to make something more fun, so I used my method of shipping cupcakes by slicing cupcakes and layering them in Mason jars with frosting. She had several cinnamon roll […]

  2. […] How to Mail Frosted Cakes. Mailing a homemade cake can be the ultimate gift for a loved one. The fresh homemade taste, preservative-free cake, and yummy … How to Ship Cupcakes | 52 Kitchen Adventures […]

  3. […] This would be an awesome way to send some of your homemade love in someone’s direction! You can make the actual cupcake in the jar, or you can just use the jar as the shipping container (frosting and all). Here’s how. […]

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